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June 20th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Bordens, Halls, and Klemms — Fathers and Sons

Jim Borden James Borden Rifles Accuracy Facebook
Photo shows Joseph (“Skeet”) Borden, with match rifle built by his son, Jim Borden.

On this Father’s Day 2021, we celebrate three sets of fathers and sons who enjoyed competitive shooting together. This story can remind us how shooting together can help build life-long bonds between fathers and sons.

Jim Borden James Borden Rifles Accuracy FacebookJoseph Borden and Jim Borden
A while back, Jim Borden made a post on his Facebook Page that made us think about how shooting can build important connections between father and son. Jim recalled how he would go to Piedmont, North Carolina with his father every year for a shooting match: “17 years ago this weekend was the last time dad was able to make the trek to North Carolina for the annual Groundhog contest and the match at Piedmont. Loved the time we spent together. Dad shot competitive benchrest with me from 1980 until June 2001. He passed in August 2001.”

This prompted others shooters to respond with cherished memories of their own fathers:

“I’d give a year’s pay to have my Dad back for an hour, let alone a day. Spend all the time you can with them while they’re here”. — Kerry S.

“I think how lucky some folks are to look back in life and have fond memories of doing things with their parents that both enjoyed. I have missed my dad for 44 years and think of him every time I hunt, fish, trap or work on a household project. We did it all together.” — Bill McC.

Another poster explained how he now attends matches with his own young son:

“The time you spent with your father meant as much or more to him. Always cherish [those memories], as I know you will. Last year, I spent … over 400 hours with my then 10-year-old son going to rifle matches. This year will be similar. This photo was from today of my 11-year-old son.” — John C.

So here’s a message to all dads — take some time to introduce your sons (and daughters) to the joys of shooting. Spend quality time with your youngsters while you can. Time passes quickly, boys grow up into men. Ensure you enjoy a life outdoors together whenever you can.

About Jim Borden and Borden Accuracy
Jim began shooting high power silhouette and benchrest matches in the mid 1970s while working for a Fortune 500 company as an engineer. In the early 1980s he began building rifles for himself and then for others. Jim has a background as a gunsmith, machinist, registered mechanical engineer, engineering instructor, project manager, hunter, and benchrest competitor. In benchrest competitions he has set ten world records and won 11 National Championships thereby earning induction into the Benchrest Hall of Fame. Jim also served six terms as President of the International Benchrest Shooters (IBS).

Jim operates Borden Rifles/Borden Accuracy with his wife Joan, sons Jim Junior and John, daughter Andrea Mecca and son-in-law John (Mike) Mecca. Jim is also an outstanding photographer.

Jim Borden James Borden Rifles Accuracy Facebook

Jim Borden

Another Father/Son Duo — Sam Hall and Hunter Hall

Sam Hall is a multi-time IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, who holds many IBS mid-range records. It’s tough to beat Sam when he’s on his game. But it looks like Sam has a worthy challenger — his own son Hunter Hall, now 15. At age 12, Hunter won the North Carolina State 1000-yard Light Gun Group Title.

Hunter Hall Sam Hall IBS 6 BRDX

At a very young age, Hunter Hall showed an interest in his father’s shooting hobby. It turns out Hunter has the God-given talent for hitting the target. Yes there would be another champion in the Hall family. Here is Hunter, at age 12, winning the NC 1000-Yard Group title. Not bad for a kid not even in High School yet!

Hunter Hall Sam Hall Champion shooter father's day

Even at just 6 years of age, Hunter showed a keen interest in shooting. Back in 2012 Sam reported: “This weekend we practiced freehand shooting with his BB gun at cans. After that I was needing to zero my Light Gun and get started with a few loads at 100 yards. To my amazement my 6-year-old wanted to accompany me. I could not believe it when he wanted to shoot my competition rifle. I had just put a new barrel and scope on it and needed to zero it. After two shots to get it zeroed he hit a .25 inch dot at 100 yards. I let him do everything — loading it, ejecting rounds, and even working my Farley joystick rest.”

Ken Klemm and Ian Klemm — Father and Son F-TR Aces

Over the last 30 years, a family saga has been playing out in rural Wisconsin: a father fosters within his son the joy of competitive target shooting. It started in a basement shooting range of a small-town elementary school, shooting single-shot rimfire target rifles while cementing the fundamentals of sight alignment, breathing, trigger control, and safety. With a background of competitive smallbore shooting in school and the U.S. Navy, Ken Klemm coached his son, Ian, in a father/son indoor winter shooting league. Ian was determined to shoot as well or better than his Dad and would pursue that goal for the next 30 years. Even after his engineering career took him to the Washington DC area for defense-related work, Ian continued to compete with his Dad by mailing “postal match” targets back and forth for many years.

Father's Day Ian Ken Klemm
Father's Day Ian Ken Klemm
Father and son shooting together. Her Ian spots for his father Ken Klemm, who is shooting.

Ian has now risen to the pinnacle of his F-TR discipline. Ian Klemm has now won three National F-TR Championships in four years. Ian captured back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, winning at Lodi, WI in 2017, and Raton, NM in 2018. Ian also finished second at the 2019 Nationals. Ian put on another great performance to win the F-TR National title in 2020 under very challenging conditions.

Father's Day Ian Ken Klemm

Here is Ian with proud parents Karen and Ken Klemm after Ian won his Second Straight F-TR National Championship in 2018. Father Ken also competed at the 2018 F-Class Nationals, shooting great in both individual and team events.

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October 24th, 2018

12-Year-Old Hunter Hall Wins NC 1000-Yard LG Group BR Title

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

It’s always newsworthy when a novice shooter wins a major event. But it’s even more remarkable when that new shooter is just 12 years old! Proving that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, young Hunter Hall, son of past IBS 600-Yard Shooter of the Year Samuel Hall, recently won the LG Group title at the North Carolina State 1000-Yard IBS Benchrest Championship. And this was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match (and the first time he had even shot at 1000 yards)! The young man took the LG group title in spectacular fashion, with some great shooting. In fact, Hunter won his first-ever 1000-yard relay with a 4.312-inch group and a perfect 50 score! Father Sam noted: “It takes most new shooters several months, or even years, to shoot that good (me included)!”

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

Gun and Load — 6BR Ackley with Berger 105 Hybrids
Hunter was shooting one of Sam’s old 600-yard rifles off a SEB Max rest in front and Protektor DR bag in the rear. The rifle features a BAT MB 1.55″-diameter round dual port action, McMillan ST-1000 stock with 4″-wide aluminum rail-plate on the fore-end, Jewell trigger, and March 40X scope with 1/16 dot reticle. The barrel was a Krieger HV barrel Sam had recently rechambered from a Dasher to his favorite 6BR-AI (what some call the 6BRA). The load was Berger 105gr Hybrids about 0.010″ in the lands, pushed by H4895 powder and CCI BR4 primers.

Report from Proud Father Samuel Hall:

I’m proud to report that my son, Hunter Hall, won the Light Gun (LG) Group trophy in the 2018 North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard State shoot. On his first-ever 1K target he shot a 4.312″ group with 50 score. That relay had some great shooters in it including Mike Wilson, past IBS 1000-Yard Shooter of the Year and Nationals winner. Hunter went on to win the shoot-off for the LG Group NC State Championship in some very windy conditions.

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

I must say, I was very worried just before he was shooting. Winds had picked up to 10-20 mph and were switching quickly. Even for seasoned veterans it is hard to shoot in those conditions! Hunter never appeared nervous and ran his five record rounds off in mere seconds, never raising his head while shooting — just as I taught him the day before the match.

This was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match, and first time he’d even shot at 1000 yards. Hunter has occasionally helped me sight in my long-range Benchrest rifles since he was six. He just expressed interest in shooting a match the Monday before the match. After scrambling to get him two rifles to shoot that week, I taught him how to “speed shoot” in case it was windy, and how to handle the rifle without upsetting it in the bags while cycling the bolt. I showed him how to put his thumb on the tang to help keep the gun level during recoil. His hands have just gotten large enough to do that.

Hunter says now he wants to shoot all the Hawks Ridge matches next year! I may take him to a 600-yard match next year and see how he likes that. I told Hunter that if he continues to beat me like he did Saturday, I may just become his caddy! I was ten times more excited for him to win than me winning! Benchrest needs more shooters. This is the kind of thing that can help grow the sport. — Samuel Hall

Other Winners at NC State 1000-Yard IBS Championships
Along with young Hunter Hall, there were other notable performances at the NC State 1K Championship. Mike Hanes won the Heavy Gun (HG) Score Title while Mike Wilson won the HG Group Title. Barry Splawn was a double winner, finishing as NC State LG Score Champion as well as Factory Gun Champion.

Match Director Dave Mathews reports this was a very successful event: “We had a fantastic turn out … with 50 Light Gun shooters, 40 Heavy Gun competitors, and 9 Factory Class shooters. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great event. Now it’s time to head south to the Georgia Long Range Extravaganza. Hope to see you there…”

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